My name is Valerie Hinson, and I am so thrilled to be entering my seventh year of teaching kindergarten at Meridian. I am a native of Oklahoma, but have lived in Broomfield for the last twenty years. I am a 1993 graduate from Oklahoma Baptist University with a Bachelor of Science in Education degree, my major being Early Childhood Education. Since graduation I have spent some years in the classroom and some years full time mothering at home. This is my sixteenth year teaching, and my thirteenth year to teach kindergarten. I love spending time with kindergarten children and helping them grow academically and socially. I believe in developing a safe, nurturing, and happy classroom where students have a sense of belonging and an excitement about learning and embracing challenges. I enjoy finding ways to incorporate music, technology, and creativity into kindergarten learning. When I'm not teaching, I like to cook, read, work puzzles, and go for walks. I also love hanging out with my husband, Stephen, going to movies, and taking road trips with my family. Huge inspirations in my life are Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers), and my mother, who was also a teacher. A fun fact about me is that the Pioneer Woman from the Food Network lives and films her show in my hometown of Pawhuska, Oklahoma.